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The Scriptorium

God's Last Word

It's His next Word that's the best. Malachi 1-4

Return from Exile: Malachi 4 (5)

Pray Psalm 127.3, 4
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.

Sing Psalm 127.3, 4.
(Leominster: Not What My Hands Have Done)
All children are a gift and treasure from the LORD,
a token of His constant grace, the fruitful womb’s reward.
Like arrows in our hand, the children of our youth
we, trusting Jesus, shape and send to bear the Word of truth.

Review Malachi 1-4; meditate on Malachi 1.2-5.


1. How would you describe the state of the people in Malachi’s day?

2. What did God promise to do for them?

The book of Malachi is God’s last Word to His covenant people. And not just because it’s the last book of the Old Testament.

God’s last Word is also His first Word, the Word of promise given to Israel through Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (v. 2). God promised to deliver His sin-bound people, to bring them into the realm of His great and precious promises, and to extend His grace to the whole world through them (vv. 2, 3; cf. Gen. 3.15; 12.1-3). The prideful—like Edom—will be impoverished and made to live in captivity—like Israel in Malachi’s day (v. 4).

God’s last Word also recalls His constant Word, throughout the Old Testament, delivered by various prophets in every age. He called His people to remember His Law, acknowledge their sins and repent, stop robbing Him of glory and honor, and deal with their neighbors in love rather than in treachery and self-interest (1.6-14; 2.1-17; 3.4). He also noted throughout the Old Testament the presence of a faithful remnant who remembered His work and longed for His promises (3.16-18).

And God’s last Word to His people is also His next and best Word. He is coming into their midst with a message of salvation and life. He will bring an offering to deliver His people. He will turn their hearts away from self-centeredness and sin to the purposes of God and the day of salvation (chs. 3, 4). The Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings, and the Good News of His grace and bounty will go forth to all the earth.

The next Word God speaks to His people will be the living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will fulfill the Law, embody all the promises, inaugurate the rule of God on earth as it is in heaven, and be an offering for our sins, that we, captive all our lives to sin and self, may finally and forever be made free.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“Your eyes shall see, and you will say,
‘The LORD is magnified beyond the borders of Israel’” (Mal.1.5).

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Cor. 13.12).

“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them,
and they shall be His people. God himself will be with them and be their God.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain,
for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21.3, 4).

“Now may the God of peace
who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead,
that great Shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
make you complete in every good work to do His will,
working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ,
to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Heb. 13.20, 21).

“God’s Last Word”:
I have loved you (Mal. 1.2).
My Name shall be great among the nations (Mal.1.11).
I will send My Messenger to fulfill the Covenant (Mal. 3.1).
I will come to judge those that do not fear Me (Mal. 3.5).
Those who love and fear Me are Mine, My precious treasure (Mal. 3.17).
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings (Mal. 4.2).
Remember and obey the Law (Mal. 4.4).
I will send Elijah to proclaim the coming judgment, and arrival of the Messiah (Mal. 4.5).

And then He did it, just as He said (Is. 7.14; Matt. 1.23; 28.6).

For reflection
1. How would you explain the promise God has made to His people?

2. How does God speak His constant Word to you? What have you “heard” from Him lately?

3. How will the Lord use you today to speak His living Word to someone?

[The Lord] chose his people that they might be holy. If we love him, it is because he has first loved us; yet we all are prone to undervalue the mercies of God, and to excuse our own offenses. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Malachi 1.1-5

Pray Psalm 127.1, 2, 5.
God builds His temple—you and me and our churches—and He watches over us to fulfill all that He has promised. Give Him praise and thanks for His faithful and unchanging Word. Pray that He will give you a fruitful day in His Kingdom.

Sing Psalm 127.1, 2, 5.
(Leominster: Not What My Hands Have Done)
Unless God builds the house, the workers toil in vain.
Unless He watches o’er us all, the watchmen have no gain.
In vain we early rise, and late retire to rest,
for God gives precious, needed sleep to those He loves the best.

The blessings of the LORD on fruitful families rest.
Both friend and foe alike shall know that they by God are blessed.
Praise God, Who builds the house, and watches o’er us all,
and grants relief and fruitful wombs to all who on Him call.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Two books can help us understand our own captivity and lead us to seek revival and renewal in the Lord. The Church Captive asks us to consider the ways the Church today has become captive to the world. And Revived! can help us find the way to renewal. Learn more and order your free copies by clicking here and here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable free by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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